Alaska House backtracks on full dividend vote

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska House’s populist vote to pay Alaskans the full amount for their oil-wealth fund checks has been undone.

Lawmakers rescinded the vote Friday after debate over Alaska Permanent Fund dividends derailed efforts to pass a state operating budget.

Rather than a full payout, estimated at about $2,650, lawmakers voted for a $1,600 dividend this year.

Monday’s vote for a fully funded dividend, held during a drawn-out budget debate, split the House majority and spurred minority Republicans to seek bigger budget cuts to win over their members.

A handful of majority members who supported a full dividend Monday backed undoing that vote Friday.

The size of the oil check was cut roughly in half the last two years amid gridlock over Alaska’s budget deficit.

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